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Weight: 531 grams per binding
Price: $500 MSRP
Last season, Dynafit revamped its freeride-oriented tech binding system and brought back Radical binding series. Its beefed up features for more aggressive skiing and better compatibility with wider skis make it a benchmark for tech-style freeride-touring bindings. The Radical ST is the middle sibling of the series, which includes the stouter Radical FT and lighter Speed Radical. After skiing the ST up on Teton Pass however, we found it plenty burly enough for the everyday tourer. The ST’s lighter weight and lower price point also make it perfect for just about anyone short of backcountry cliff huckers. Either way, if you plan on doing any serious touring this winter, we highly suggest investing in a tech setup. You will be a much happier person.
The biggest upgrade to the Radical is its wider footprint. Though the width of the screw-mounting pattern carries over from the older Vertical binding, Dynafit has placed substantial reinforcements and buttressing under the toe pins. This greatly decreases the chances of the binding ripping out of the ski—an occasional problem with Dynafit bindings especially on wide powder skis—and better transmits power to the edge of the modern fat ski. The side towers have also been reinforced in the Radical bindings to decrease the chance of accidental release from impact
Another much appreciated upgrade to the Radical ST is the improved heel elevators. With a quick flick of a pole, we were able to switch between heel heights. It’s substantially easier than the system on the older bindings. With some practice, you can practically switch the heel elevators without breaking stride. We love efficient skinning so we love the new system.
When buying a tech binding, be honest with yourself. Are you really going to get sick in the backcountry all the time? Or will you be doing more meadow skipping and tree skiing with occasional big spring descents? If you answer the latter, the Radical ST will be more than enough binding and save you about 100 grams. It cranks down release value of 10, which typically supports the average skier just fine. Our tester is 5’11” and 190 pounds. He tours mostly in Colorado’s Front Range and has never felt the need for more binding than the ST. A nice added bonus to the ST: The heelpiece has about two centimeters of adjustment so you can fit a variety of boot sizes in the binding.
The upgrades given to the Radical (over the previous Vertical) are a huge improvement especially for those that tour on wide skis. The Radical ST is both approachable and high performing. It’s a touring binding you could grow old with, which makes it a great option if you’re looking to invest in tech gear.
For more info go to dynafit.com